Navigation Links
Parents' poor math skills may lead to medication errors
Date:4/27/2012

BOSTON Many parents cringe when their child asks for help with math homework. New research shows that poor math skills can cause another difficulty for caregivers measuring the right amount of medicine.

In fact, parents with math skills at the third grade level or below were five times more likely to measure the wrong dose of medication for their child than those with skills at the sixth grade level or higher, according to a study to be presented Saturday, April 28, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston.

"Parents face many challenges as they seek to administer medications to their children in a safe and effective manner," said study co-author H. Shonna Yin, MD, MS, FAAP, assistant professor of pediatrics, New York University School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital Center. "Dosing liquid medications correctly can be especially confusing, as parents may need to understand numerical concepts such as how to convert between different units of measurement, like milliliters, teaspoons and tablespoons. Parents also must accurately use dosing cups, droppers and syringes, many of which vary in their measurement markings and the volume they hold."

Studies have shown that people with low reading skills are more likely to make mistakes in measuring the correct amount of medicine. Little research, however, has focused on whether low math skills contribute to dosing errors.

In this study, researchers looked at the relationship between both reading and math skills and medication dosing errors. Participants included 289 parents of children younger than 8 years of age who were prescribed a short course of liquid medication after being seen in a pediatric emergency department. Caregivers spoke either English or Spanish and were the primary person responsible for administering the medication.

Caregivers were given three tests to assess their reading and math skills. Researchers also watched parents as they measured out a dose of the medication that had been prescribed for their child.

Study results revealed that nearly one in three parents had low reading skills, while 83 percent of parents had poor numeracy skills (27 percent had skills at the third grade level or below).

Observations showed that 41 percent of parents made a dosing error. Parents' math scores, in particular, were associated with measuring mistakes, with parents who scored below the third grade level on the math test having almost a five times increased odds of making a dosing error.

"Our study found that many parents have poor numeracy skills, placing them at risk for making dosing errors," Dr. Yin said. "These findings point to a need to examine whether strategies that specifically address parent math skills can help reduce medication errors in children. In addition, recognition of the importance of addressing numeracy skills may be helpful for health care providers as they seek to improve their communication of medication instructions. For example, having providers review and give parents pictures of dosing instruments filled to the correct amount for that prescription may be beneficial."


'/>"/>
Contact: Debbie Jacobson
djacobson@aap.org
847-434-7084
American Academy of Pediatrics
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Explorers Bounty Puffed Fruit Snacks Helping Parents Battle Summer Obesity
2. Parents often wait too long to treat childrens asthma symptoms
3. New intervention helps Latino parents of asthmatic children quit smoking
4. PDA Reminds Parents About the Importance of Childrens Oral Health
5. New Virtual Program for Parents of Children with ADD / ADHD
6. Parents Divorce Doesnt Harm College-Age Kids
7. Some Parents Consider Hastening a Sick Childs Death
8. Infectious Virus Hides In Human Chromosomes During Latency And Can Be Passed From Parents To Their Children
9. Mother of Binge Drinking Victim Urges Students and Parents to Discuss Signs of Alcohol Poisoning, Emphasize Peer Responsibility Prior to Spring Break
10. Twinlab Launches New Omega-3 Powder in Single-Serving Stick Packs for Busy Parents and Their Kids
11. Risks of Kids Surgeries May Not Stick With Parents
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/7/2016)... ... February 07, 2016 , ... Women's Excellence staff, in all four locations, ... National Wear Red Day is the first Friday each February and a day to ... 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all cancers combined. ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... February 06, 2016 , ... US Sports Camps is proud to sponsor ... event brings together top non-profit leaders, ultimate organizations, and coaches from around the US. ... Bay Area Disc Program Director of Youth and Education, describes this year YUCC as ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Steven Tonkinson, 36, of Coconut Grove, ... year since it started in 2003. This year, he ran all 26.2 miles with ... and NBA team the Miami Heat. , This Sunday, while many are watching the ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... stage for new clinical and scientific initiatives have all marked the last 12 ... appointed President and CEO of the nation’s oldest cancer center, Candace S. Johnson, ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... York, New York (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... life? The answer may be at the tips of your toes. Foot massage, whether ... as well as pure comfort and relaxation. The American Board of Multiple Specialties ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... 2016  Patients in Alabama seeking ... therapy no longer have to travel out of state. ... Urology Centers of Alabama to provide a total ... qualifying patients. Alabama is ... of prostate cancer using many different modalities. They are the ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... 5, 2016 --> ... states that the global active pharmaceuticals ingredients (APIs) market ... to reach US$185.9 bn by 2020. It is expected ... to 2020. The title of the report is "Active ... Geography, and by Therapeutic Area) - Global Industry Analysis, ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Site Profile: --> Site ... People, announced their latest primary healthcare case study where speech recognition ... and to save the practice money. Site Profile: ... Challenge: --> ,- Wirral CCG ,- VoicePower client since ... Wirral CCG ,- VoicePower client since 2013 Challenge: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: